Group Visits

Visitors in the cafe at Hardys Cottage

We're delighted you've booked a group visit to Hardy's Cottage. Here's all the pre-visit information you need to ensure you have a fantastic time here.

Help us help you

Due to the size of Hardy's Cottage, we ask that all groups of more than 8 give us advance notice, so that we can cater for your group. To book a group visit, please ring 01305 262366 to discuss your visit with a member of staff, or email us.

In order to ensure that your visit is as enjoyable as possible, it would be helpful if you could answer the following questions:

  • The time of your arrival and approximately how long you intend to stay at the cottage (we recommend an hour and half for groups of up to 16, including the walk from your drop off point.) Please ring us to discuss groups of over 16, on 01305 262366.
  • If you’d like us to provide a member of staff to give a short talk to your group, you could suggest what you would like the talk to focus on. For example, is your group studying a particular Hardy novel, sequence of poems or specific Hardy themes? Is your group interested in a particular aspect of Hardy, such as his early life or the cottage itself?

For your information

Cost

For groups of under 15
Standard Adult £6.30
Standard Child £3.15 

For groups of 15 and over 
Group Adult £5.50
Group Child £2.75

National Trust members free. This does not affect other group members’ group rate.

We can accept payment on the day, by cash or card, or in advance over the phone, by card, on 01305 262366.

Practicalities

Please report to the Visitor Centre on arrival.

The cottage is small, for safety reasons we can only permit eight people upstairs at a time. If your group is larger than this, please be aware that it will be divided up into smaller units, but there is plenty to see both inside and outside the cottage. Please dress for the weather and wear suitable footwear.

During your visit the cottage is still open to the general public, who will also be going round the cottage at the same time as your group. 

Facilities

Although there is no toilet at the cottage, you will pass our Visitor Centre as you come up the bridlepath, which has toilets and a café. Please note that the café and toilets close at 4pm, with last orders at 3.45pm.

The café (not National Trust) has limited seating, and so we request that groups give advance notice. If you wish to book tables for lunches or teas and coffees, please contact Sarah Key by email.

Parking

We have limited parking. Please try to be economical with travel by car sharing or hiring a minibus. 

The car park is owned and managed by Dorset County Council. Parking is free to National Trust members on display of a valid car park sticker. Charges for non-members are £1 for up to 2 hours and £3 for over 2 hours.

Our car park is unsuitable for coaches, and so they are required to drop off on Cuckoo Lane and find parking elsewhere.* Please note that the drop off point is a 10-15 minute walk from the cottage, up an unsurfaced bridlepath.

*Local Coach Parking/Drop off points

  • Dorchester Top o’ Town Car Park. Prices can be found here
  • A35 E-bound layby between Dorchester and Puddletown
  • Hampton Farm Business park, Higher Bockhampton - Alan Matthews is happy to provide parking for coaches for £50 for up to three hours. Please call to book in advance on 01305 268379 or 01305 756555.